Tidal Village (night)

(Posted by the artist Luci Gorell Barnes)

I choose a high tide just before sunset and as we turn the corner it seems that the river is already huge and full. At the bank I see that there are a few feet left to go and we tether the houses and set them out onto the water. The tide slaps them in against the banks and I push them back out into the current with a stick pulled from the hedge, lamenting the lovely long bamboo pole I left propped against the wall at home.

I film the houses as they bob, bump and separate. I step into a channel about 18 inches wide to get a better shot and drop straight down into water up to my waist. It’s growing dark and the lights in the houses look magical to me, so Rich keeps filming. My camera went in with me and now lies wet and useless in my pocket, but I feel strangely warm despite being soaked through. The dark pours in and we haul the houses out of the river and walk back to the car under a nearly full moon. It’s a surprisingly chilly night and even when I’m back home I find it hard to warm up. It’s as if the cold has soaked right into me, right down to my bones.

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